I’m at a family reunion this weekend. Not sure who plans a family reunion in Iowa in January, but it’s where I’ll be. The following is inspired by my siblings, but is more about America’s current condition and God’s persona. It’s from Prayers from The Water’s Edge and I hope it’s helpful.
I recently spent time with my siblings. We don’t get together much. Our lives are lived in Minnesota, Iowa, Colorado, and Nebraska. I’m the youngest. We grew up in a crowded house with one bathroom and no shower. There always seemed to be more than enough room—but we would occasionally bump into each other once in a while—literally and figuratively.
It still isn’t always easy. Calendaring can be a problem. My schedule doesn’t help. We have all changed in the past few decades: what we believe, what we emphasize, what we practice. But we are siblings. Nothing quite like a brother or a sister. We make each other better. Always have. Always will.
Grace has a brother—his name is Truth. They don’t always get along. But they need each other and make each other better.
Paul paints a beautiful picture of Grace. She is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9), we are saved by her (Ephesians 2:8), and she is greater than our sin (Romans 5:20). Grace isn’t just a theological concept. Grace is a person. Jesus is sufficient, Jesus saves, and Jesus is greater than our sins. Jesus is Grace.
Jesus said Truth will set us free (John 8:32). Jesus also makes it clear: He is the Truth (John 14:6). Truth is not an ethical imperative. Truth, like Grace, is a person. The same person. Jesus.
Truth without Grace can be dogmatic and uncompassionate.
Grace without Truth can be enabling and vague.
Truth and Grace walking hand in hand is rare these days, but when it happens it is as beautiful as beautiful gets. Jesus was Truth and Grace: simultaneously courageous and caring; bold and benevolent; prophetic and empathetic.
He gave Truth and Grace to Pharisees and the Sadducees. He gave Truth and Grace to his twelve disciples. He gave Truth and Grace to sinners of all varieties. Truth and Grace is who He is and therefore Truth and Grace is what He did.
The world is theologically, sociologically, and politically diverse. And so it is with the Kingdom of Heaven—according to the beliefs, words, and actions of the One who fully embodied Grace and Truth.
Walking down the road of life with both Truth and Grace isn’t easy, and Jesus makes no implication otherwise. There will be bumps along the road, for sure. But we are companions, and we make each other better. On our journey with Truth and Grace, we will pick up things like freedom, sufficiency, forgiveness, and salvation. It’s a journey worth taking.